Dental insurance in the USA is pretty crummy. Or at least the insurance we have is — I swear that there’s never a procedure that’s completely covered or enough coverage to make it through the year. I supposed I should take this up with the HR department? But I guess I should be happy that we have dental insurance that covers something.
I feel for au pairs who have dental issues when they’re here in the USA.
[See “Medical Care for your Au Pair: Your responsibility?” for the story of my Au Pair’s dental emergency…]
I don’t know the details of each Au Pair Agency’s Dental Coverage (and LCCs, if you’d add links in the comments that would be great!). But none of the policies are as cost effective as the ones in many Au Pairs’ home countries, where their national plans make decent care affordable or even free.
BostonAreaHostMom emailed us for some emergency dental-related advice for her au pair. Her au pair needs significant work done, right away.
The Au Pair could go back home for the work, but might run up against the expiration date of her visa and be unable to come back to the USA to finish out her 6 month extension. And, of course BAHM doesn’t have the resources to pay for the Au Pair’s dental care from the family budget.
Any good ideas for her? Here are the deets:
I have hosted au pairs for 8 years and have never come across this issue.
My current au pair is 25 and she has all of her wisdom teeth intact. She recently developed an infection in the gums around one of her wisdom teeth. She went to Tufts Dental School in Boston, MA (we live in the South Shore) because they offer lower cost dental care. The dentist tried to clean out the infection, told her to rinse with saltwater and said that if that doesn’t work she will have to have her wisdom teeth removed. Apparently the infection has spread to the bone around her tooth.
It costs $4,000 to have all her wisdom teeth removed at the dental school, $1,000 for one tooth. Our au pair may have to go back to the EU if she has to have her wisdom teeth removed (because it will be covered by insurance in her home country) and her Visa expires in July (although she extended until January) so she would not be able to return to finish out her time in the US. I have two questions.
1. Are there any patient assistance, charity programs for patients that don’t have money to pay for dental procedures like this? What should she do?
2. The dentist didn’t give her a prescription for antibiotics, for any dentist host parents out there, shouldn’t she have been given an antibiotic to help clear up the infection?
Our au pair just joined our family a month ago through rematch and will only be with us until January but she is an awesome au pair, a great person, and we all really like her and don’t want her to have to go back home. Other than paying for her wisdom tooth extraction (finances are tight) is there anything else we can do?
I appreciate any advice you can give me!
?Boston Area Host Mom